Traditional and Alternative Medicine: Research and Policy Persepective

Tuley de Silva, Theeshan Bahorun "Traditional and Alternative Medicine: Research and Policy Persepective"
Daya Publishing House | English | July 1, 2009 | ISBN: 8170356148 | 594 pages | File type: PDF | 34,7 mb

Herbs and traditional medicines are being extensively used for healthcare in almost all the countries since times immemorial. Ancient religious texts are replete with references on the use of natural products with medicinal properties. Because of local beliefs and practices and also from cost considerations herbal medicines remain a popular mode of treatment in the developing countries. Even in the industrialised society the rising cost of prescription drugs and ensuing side effects of the treatment make it highly attractive to use the traditional medicine particularly for minor ailments.
Modem system of medicine is based on sound experimental data, toxicity studies and human clinical studies, but in case of herbal medicine, on the contrary, the pharmacopoeia on herbal products is usually not available, standardization and quality control parameters for the raw material as well as finished products are virtually non-existent, and herbal industry lacks good manufacturing practices. Even the barest minimum standards of the medicinal plant products are not maintained or regulated and the quality of finished herbal products is often not monitored or is notup to the mark. In addition, even though almost all the developing countries, specifically those sitting in the tropical belt, are a rich and abundant source of flora and phytopharmaceuticals, many medicinal plants are either getting scarce or are on the verge of extinction resulting into genetic erosion due to a huge public demand and also because a large number of modem drugs are extracted and developed from the plants. If this trend continues, the human race will lose some of the most important sources of future drugs, which will be lost by the mankind forever.
As such, there is an urgent need for the developing countries to take a fresh look at the status of medicinal plants, take up sustainable harvesting by balancing the commercial demand with the conservation of the valuable plants and their contribution to biodiversity and initiate extensive activity for the preservation of germplasm.


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